It really is worth the drive.  Northlanders looking for something to do will find all of that and more at the 2021 edition of the Wisconsin State Fair.  Like many large-scale annual events, the Wisconsin State Fair was cancelled last year - and aims to make up for lost time with this years' edition.

First things first - there are some updates as they relate to the on-going pandemic that organizers make available on their website.  Some of the need-to-know highlights:

  • Parking and admission is cashless for 2021.  Users who wanted to use cash can do so - but only in advance at the State Fair Ticket Office.  Tickets at the gate and for parking will be via credit card only.
  • As for cash at vendors inside the park, the fair has left it up to each individual propriotor to make that decision.  According to the fair website, "[m]ost venodrs will accept both cash and credit cards".
  • Operating hours have been updated this year - running 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM each day, with the exception of the final Sunday - when the fair will close at 10:00 PM.  Admission entrances will close one hour before State Fair Park closure.  Re-entry stamps will cease two hours before State Fair Park closure.  These adjustments are being made "[d]ue to a number of factors, including increased sanitization protocols.....as well as the labor shortage currently facing many businesses and organizations".
  • The Wisconsin State Fair is a GBAC STAR-accredited facility - following "robust cleaning protocols" and offering "hundreds of additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the Fair Park".
  • Milwaukee Bucks Milk House:  A popular attraction in years past, the Milk House is closed for the 2021 season as the teams "memorable season extended far into summer".  The Milk House is expected to return for 2022.
  • Blue Ribbon Brownies & Colossal Cookies:  Supply issues mean that these sweet treats won't be available for the 2021 fair.
  • Souvenir Cups: A popular take-home item, the cups will not be made available for 2021 "to limit the spread of communicable diseases".
  • Milwaukee County Transit System - will not be providing MCTS Shuttles and Freeway Flyers to the Wisconsin State Fair this year.
  • Waukesha State Fair Shuttle:  Due to a driver shortage, this form of transportation will not be available this year.
  • Eating and Talent Competitions:  Safety concerns and sponsorships have halted these popular attractions this year.

So what's on tap?  Besides the usual agriculture, business and expo, food, shopping, midway, and rides, the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair offers plenty of big-name entertainment in the grandstand.  Here's a run-down:

  • August 5: Skillet with Colton Dixon & Ledger - 7:30 PM - Tickets are tiered at $29 and $39
  • August 6:  Chris Young with Sara Evans - 7:30 PM - Tickets are tiered at $49 and $54
  • August 8:  Billy Idol with The Foxies - 7:30 PM - Tickets are tiered at $40, $45, and $50
  • August 9:  Casting Crowns with We The Kingdom - 7:30 PM - Tickets are tiered at $29 and $39
  • August 10:  Foreigner with Asia featuring John Payne - 7:30 PM - Tickets are tiered at $45 and $50
  • August 11:  Brothers Osborne with Tenille Townes - 7:30 PM - Tickets are tiered at $42, $47, and $52
  • August 12:  Gabriel Iglesias - 7:30 PM - Tickets are tiered at $39, $49, and $54
  • August 13:  Boyz II Men with Ginuwine - 7:30 PM - Tickets are tiered at $39, $44, and $49
  • August 14:  The Beach Boys - 7:30 PM - Tickets are tiered at $30, $35, and $40
  • August 15:  Hank Williams Jr, with Alex Miller - 6:00 PM - Tickets are tiered at $52 and $57

Tickets to each of the State Fair Main Stage shows (those detailed above) are available in advance on the Wisconsin State Fair website.  Click here. In addition to the main grandstand, a variety of stages located throughout the park offer chances to see free entertainment.

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It's important to note that the Wisconsin State Fair is honoring all non-refunded admission tickets that were pre-sold for the 2020 edition this year.  Ticket holders that have their non-refunded tickets need to only have them in hand for admission to this years fair in Madison.

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